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Early Morning Thread 08/30/15 [krakatoa] | Main | The Left's Willful Ignorance [CBD]
August 30, 2015

Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-30-2015: Scorched Earth [OregonMuse]


sad puppy 03 - 525.jpg
"No Award"

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.

-Desiderius Erasmus

Trigger warnings this week for free speech being a good thing, because it helps us determine who the idiots are. Also, winners should be determined by merit, not tribal affiliation.

Health warning: reading the book thread excessively may cause your debit card to spontaneously combust.

By the way, speaking of debit cards, I have a non-book question for you morons who do a lot of multi-state traveling, which is this: before you embark on one of your trips, do you have to contact your bank or financial institution and tell them what states you'll be traveling to so your debit card purchases won't automatically be declined, or does your debit card simply work wherever you go?

Backstory: my new job requires me to be expertly familiar with debit card transactions and the security thereof, and this issue came up in the training class this week.


The Residuum of WorldCon

In last week's comments, one of you morons (I forget who, sorry) linked to this article in Wired by Amy Wallace about the Sad Puppies isn't a total waste, as most of the articles written by SJW hacks usually are. This is not to say that it's good; in fact, it does regurgitate the tiresome narrative that the Sad Pupplies are reactionary white guys who are politicizing the Hugos because they hate brown people. In the first place, the author actually reached out and spoke with Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and even the SJWs' bête noire, Vox Day. Which, by the way, puts her ahead of The Guardian, which has published a number anti-SP hit pieces without contacting any of the writers they rail against.

So Wallace does let you hear the other side, even though it's filtered through her crap narrative.

And then there's this:

In fact, their argument is actually pretty interesting. They say their beef is more class-based; Torgerson [sic] says his books are blue-collar speculative fiction. The Hugos, they say, are snobby and exclusionary, and too often ignore books that are merely popular, by conservative writers. The Sad Puppies have a name for those who oppose them: CHORFS, for “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary Fanatics.”

I sometimes wonder if these types of class-based arguments shouldn't be pushed more by our side. Not universally, of course, but perhaps there may be situations where they're appropriate. Like here. It might not have ever occurred to Saul Alinsky that his rules could be used against his own tribe. They should be made to live up to their own rules. Since they're obsessed with "class" and "class" distinctions, we should shove "class" down their throats until they choke on it.

Wallace doesn't want to deal with this argument, though. After bringing it up, she immediately drops it and goes on to what she really wants to talk about, namely, the evil Vox Day.

Another thing I find odd with Wallace's article is that it appears to carry the evidence of its own refutation. That is, she wants the audience to believe that the Puppies are all diversity-hating white guys, then she brings up the case of Annie Bellet, an SJW author who withdrew her name from Hugo nomination consideration when her story was included on the Sad Puppies slate.

This is how Bellet describes herself:

“I’m adopted, and I have a sister who is black, a sister who’s Vietnamese. My mom is a lesbian. I grew up in a liberal, inclusive environment.

So she's a poster child for diversity. Fine. But if the Puppies hate diversity, then why would they nominate her for a Hugo? This is a question that Wallace's narrative will not allow her to ask. But the answer is right there in front of her, if only would bestir herself to look:

[Torgersen] says the Hugos are beset by identity politics. “When people go on about how we’re anti-diversity, I’m like: No. All we’re saying is storytelling ought to come first.”

Yes, it's the storytelling. Bellet wrote a damn good story (regardless of her politics or ethnic background) and that's all the Puppies care about. But, of course, that would bust the SJW narrative wide open, and we can't have that.

And speaking of unacceptable individuals...

I have yet to hear any of the social justice wankers (I think I'm going to just spell it out like that from now on) who have been soiling their nappies at the WrongThoughts™ of the Sad Puppies in general and Vox Day in particular utter one word of disapprobation, or even concern, about the unapologetic NAMBLA defender Samuel R. Delaney. I mean, if you want to enforce disqualification from society based on WrongThought™, I would think that defending child molesting would certainly qualify.

Larry Correia's take on this year's WorldCon is here. This is how it starts out:

As you all know by now, the Hugo Awards were presented Saturday, and No Award dominated most of the categories. Rather than let any outsiders win, they burned their village in order to “save it”. And they did so while cheering, gloating, and generally being snide exclusive assholes about it.

And it gets even better. As the poet says, read the whole thing.


Conservative Books?

What the British mean by "conservative" is quite different than the typical American definition. Here, a conservative is someone who is in favor of policies such as lower taxes, smaller government, economic growth, and protecting the unborn against wholesale slaughter. By contrast, in Britain, a conservative some guy in khakis and a pith helmet being carried on a sedan chair by brown people.

That's the impression I get from reading the articleTop 10 conservative novels by Kate Macdonald in the left-wing "Guardian" newspaper online. She alternately praises and sneers at the authors she's discussing. The character in one of the novels is "unreconstructed Rhodesian imperialist". Another author "staunchly opposed social change". Etc.

Macdonald's myopia is on full display as she describes a novel's "fierce pub arguments, and the default position is always Conservative", never realizing that her own position is "default commie." And here's a beaut: she has H.P .Lovecraft on the list because his "visions of a tentacled overlord from under the sea in a different dimension makes so much sense as a metaphor for conservative fears." Huh? What the hell is that supposed to mean. How is that anything other than a gratuitous insult?

She claims she's studying conservative fiction writing "for decades", yet she says that the first James Bond novel is "Dr. No", an egregious factual error. If she makes a mistake that basic, how can you trust anything else she's written?

And her response in the comment section, blaming this rookie-level derp on the Guardian's fact-checkers, is especially piquant.

Most of the authors and books on her list I have never heard of, but that's just my ignorance. This being a British publication, it's a very British-centered list. John Buchan is an exception, and is worth checking out. His books are available for low cost or no cost on Kindle.

But every so often a blind squirrel steps on a rake and gets some sense whomped into her:

Ignoring fiction of a political colour that you don't agree with is teaching with blinkers on.

In view of the Sad Puppies brouhaha, I certainly agree.

There's some recommendations of other conservative books in the comment section.

Macdonald is the author of the book Novelists Against Social Change: Conservative Popular Fiction, 1920-1960, which is so outrageously expensive ($80 for the hardcover edition? Really?) that I doubt anyone has ever read it.

Then there's Ten Great Conservative Novels over at NRO. Thia article from 2010, By John Miller, which he put together after canvassing NRO readers and some "experts" on American literature. The result is "a list of ten great conservative novels, all written by Americans since the founding of the conservative movement in the 1950s."

I was especially interested in

7. Shelley’s Heart, by Charles McCarry (1995): Charles McCarry is sometimes called a “conservative John le Carré” for his highly intelligent espionage thrillers.

In particular, for stuff like this:

Here is how McCarry describes a president who has made a momentous decision that he knows runs counter to the best interests of the country but may save his career and advance his political agenda: “Like most political figures of his generation who embrace progressive convictions,” McCarry writes, “Lockwood had never in his adult life been anything but a politician.” He “was a politician to the depths of his being, and his office was all he had.”

Shelley's Heart, as well as a number of other of McCarry's books, is available on Kindle for about ten bucks a pop.

Thanks to moron commenters Laurie David's Cervix and The Great White Snark for the links.


Ivy League Blues

In a thread earlier this week, moron commenter rrpjr recommended the book Out of Ivy: How a Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative by Travis James Rowley:

Mr. Rowley's description of incidents on Brown's politically correct campus are by turns hilarious, infuriating, and intriguing as he provides one of the sharpest and most detailed inside looks at elite higher education seen in a long time, Tom Wolfe's "I am Charlotte Simmons" included.

Of course, none of this is new. William F. Buckley covered this ground in his famous first book, God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom', which was published in 1951. Holy crap that's over six decades ago. That's how far back the rat bastard commies have been burrowing.

From wikipedia:

Buckley wrote the book based on his undergraduate experiences at Yale University. In the book, he criticized Yale and its faculty for forcing collectivist, Keynesian, and secularist ideology on its students. He criticized individual professors by name, arguing that they tried to break down students' religious beliefs through their hostility to religion. Buckley also states in the book that Yale was denying its students any sense of individualism by making them embrace the ideas of liberalism. Buckley argues that the Yale charter leaves oversight of the university to the alumni, and argues that because most alumni of Yale believed in God, that Yale was failing to serve its "masters" by teaching course content in a matter inconsistent with alumni beliefs.

Buckley was 26 years old when his book was first published. Not bad for a first book, I'd say.


Moron Recommendations

Infrequent moron commenter 'Feynmangroupie' checked in this week with a couple of Smart Military™ recommendations for this Smart Military Blog™. I'll just cut and paste from his e-mail:

I’ve been reading a book by Victor Suvorov called “Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy,” and it’s an auto-biographical account of a tank officer who ends up being picked to join the GRU. It’s an in-depth look on how the Soviet spy network operated and also how incredibly ruthless and distrustful they were of their own people. This book discussed the massive amount of time, money, and manpower that went into tracking NATO forces and recording their activities in hopes of finding a weakness and how to exploit it. I was a Patriot Missile Crewmember stationed in Germany, right at the end of the Cold War, and remember wondering if I was being watched whenever I traveled or made purchases. After reading this, I am quite certain that I was!

Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy is from 1986, and I don't think it's still in print. Most of the copies on Amazon appear to be either used or NOS (new old stock), which actually makes them more affordable.

But wait, there's another one:

Another one by the same author is “Icebreaker” which describes WWII from the Soviet perspective and presents evidence that implies that the Soviet Union instigated the war and choreographed most of Hitler’s actions in order to fulfill the Communist dream of global domination...This one is not as easily absorbed as it is filled with statistics, Soviet and German unit names, and discussions of strategy. However, anyone who is a WWII buff will definitely find it interesting, even if it is just to declare it preposterous.

Icebreaker: Who Started The Second World War? appears to be still in print, Kindle version $9.99.

The wikipedia entry notes that Suvorov's thesis is not shared by the majority of historians. The article cites David Glantz' book Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War in rebuttal:

Glantz views Suvorov's argument as "incredible" on a variety of fronts: first, Suvorov rejects without examination classified ex-Soviet archival material, and makes highly selective picks from memoirs. Glantz points to this as a serious methodological flaw. Further, Glantz argues, Suvorov's thesis is strongly contradicted both by ex-Soviet and German archival material, and the facts do not support the argument that the Red Army was prepared to invade Germany.[1] On the contrary, the appalling lack of readiness, poor training level, and abysmal state of deployments show that the Red Army was unprepared for static defense, much less large-scale offensive operations. Glantz's conclusion is that "Stalin may well have been an unscrupulous tyrant, but he was not a lunatic."

I don't have a dog in this fight and I'm not trying to shoot down Feynmangroupie's recommendation. I just discovered some contrary evidence and thought it was worthy of note for the Smart Military™ morons who know far more about this subject than I do.


Books By Morons

Another moron author outs himself! Longtime moron commenter 'logprof' has published his first work of fiction, No Lesser Love: A Novella. Thia is what he says about it:

By default I placed No Lesser Love in the Romance (!) category on Amazon because the plot is a romance, but it is intended as a societal critique.

$2.99 on Kindle.

___________

Anna Puma's novel, Golden Isis is also available on Kindle. She was kind enough to provide me with an AoSHQ Amazon Bookstore link, but unfortunately, digital media can only be purchased directly from the main Amazon store.

Think you might be having a rough day?

There was Diana Hunt, minding her own business. A woman trying to survive in New York City. During the Great Depression. Boy was it greatly depressing.

Her husband is on the lam, leaving her alone to face the goons and the police that are looking for him. Then one morning an unconscious young woman appears on her door step and Diana's life will never be the same again.

What does Egypt, magic, and those naughty good for nothing Nazis have to do with this story?
That's what Diana wants to know.

___________

Moronette Lauren has been sitting on a short story for a long time, but now she's gone ahead and published it. Ordinarily, Just Another Oppressor is available for 99 cents on Kindle, but for you morons, Lauren has made it available for free today.


What I'm Reading

Tales of Tinfoil: Stories of Paranoia and Conspiracy was a Bookbub freebie earlier this week, so I snapped it up.

In this short story collection, today's top fiction authors pull back the curtain on the biggest conspiracies of all time. Explore the JFK assassination, Area 51, the moon landing, the surveillance state. Meet a French spy posing as Abraham Lincoln, play a video game designed by the CIA, watch "Suicide Mickey." Learn the truth about Adolf Hitler and Elvis Presley.

Twelve short stories, twelve conspiracy theories, twelve twisted rabbit holes.

I read the first story, where some schlub manages to resolve, once and for all time, the question of who shot JFK, and I thought it posited a clever, non-traditional solution (even though I'm in an intransigent who holds firmly to the view that the rat bastard commie Oswald acted alone).

I hope the other stories are as good.

As of now (Sat. nite), it is still available for free on Kindle.


___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

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